13 Feb to 19 Feb 2017 – Hitting the marathon training peak!

mountain-peakAfter this week is out of the way, I’m into my taper and then there’s just the small matter of actually running the marathon in March. I’m looking forward to three relatively easy weeks ahead of me.

Last week was a cheat one. I did quite a bit of bodyweight training but was easy on the legs because I was worried about my knee. That meant this week was going to be especially hard, what with a 32km run appearing in it!



Started the day with a Freeletics Bodyweight workout. A conditioning interval session (made up of incline rows, side plank twists and plank switches) followed by 1/5 Hera. I did the 2x version of Hera – where the 400m sprint is replaced by star jumps and mountain climbers – as I was running home from work in the evening. I managed to blitz through the workout at 6am, which eased me into the week nicely after a very lazy weekend.

Having skipped running at the weekend, I had to run home from work with an extra 6km tagged on the end. In the end, the run was only 18km rather than the 20km I’d planned. My knee, which has been giving me intermittent problems, started to play up so I cut it 2km short. Looks like I’ll be back on the knee exercises for the foreseeable future.



Today was a rest day but I did work on my mind. Listened to Bulletproof Radio’s interview with Robert Greene. It’s from a few months ago but he talks about the ideas in books such as The 48 Laws of Power, the importance of becoming a master and his writing process. It made me want to re-read his entire back catalogue – it’s been a while.



Today was a nice easy 10km run after work. I have the big run planned for Friday so I avoided going up too many hills and just did a circuit around the neighbourhood. The plan was to keep to a slow pace but the combination of a rock soundtrack and feeling pretty good meant that I averaged 5:05/km. I really enjoyed the run, which is a rarity when working to a strict marathon schedule, and wanted to stay out for longer – but resisted temptation as I want Friday’s 32km to go well.



There are work drinks planned this evening so I got up early for a Freeletics Bodyweight session. The Coach was relatively kind: a shoulders and core interval workout followed by Endurance Nemesis (150 crunches and 150 mountain climbers). That didn’t take too long, leaving me with plenty of time for a shower and scrambled eggs on toast.



The dreaded 32km! This is the peak of my marathon training – after this, I enter the taper and then there’s about three weeks until the actual race. I’ve not been looking forward to this run as the 30km a couple of weeks ago really took it out of me.

I worked from home in the morning and made sure I got cereals and pasta down me in plenty of time before the run. The morning ticked away and it was time to head out on the longest run of my training programme.

The route I’d chosen took me from home to Tooting, where we used to live, around all the commons that I used to train on and past the venue of our wedding. I did Tooting, Streatham, Wandsworth and Clapham Commons and it was a nice trip down memory lane. It’s been a year since I last ran around them – it’s weird how you can miss a running route.

It was harder than I thought. The first half was pretty easy but the last 16km was a struggle, even with the two energy gels I took. The final hill on the way home almost finished me off – it was only the thought of running down the other side that kept me going.

My Garmin showed 3hr 3min for the run, which was a little slower than I’d planned. Plus, there were some ‘rests’ that it won’t have counted, like waiting to cross roads. To hit my time in the marathon, I have to run faster than that and without the random stops. Let’s hope that the lack of hills and the cheering crowd speeds me up a bit.



I was going to take today as a rest day, given yesterday’s exertions. But I felt fine by the evening so decided to finish off my Freeletics week.

10 jackknives then the Hermes workout. After yesterday’s running I switched to the 2×2 version so I did four sets of 20 climbers, 10 push-ups, 10 burpees, 10 push-ups and 20 jumps. It was tough (maybe tougher than the version with just 20m sprints and push-ups would have been) but worth it.



Did a gentle 5km around a local park with the wife. My legs were still sore from Friday’s long run so I decided to have an easy jog rather than the brutal intervals I was thinking of doing.

Straight after I did a Freeletics day, just to get a head start on next week. It was a hard endurance interval session: five sets of 15 burpees, 10 leg raises, 10 sprawls and five jump squats, to be completed at maximum pace. I was left covered in sweat. The Coach was kind for the second part of the workout. It was just one set of endurance Metis (10 sprawls, 10 mountain climbers and 10 high knees). Just 38 more seconds of work then the week’s training was done.


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